Summer Bison Burgers

Have you ever tried bison? How about another exotic or game meat? Sometimes stepping out of your culinary comfort zone has a big pay out and these burgers were that for me. If you’re looking for something a little different to grill up this Summer- maybe Dad would love these for Father’s Day, or how about for that Canada Day BBQ?- these won’t disappoint. I love that bison is similar to beef, so it’s not too unfamiliar for those less adventurous, but the meat itself is amazing and these beauties contain no binding (no egg, breadcrumbs, etc). Just good, simple, delicious ingredients. I originally made these as sliders as part of my menu for Will’s surprise 30+1 birthday last month, but wanted to re- create them in full form to share on OHP since they blew away my expectations (read more about the menu at the end of this post). The bison I used for this recipe is from one of my favourite stores that I’ve shopped at for years, Heritage Meats, and after an amazing experience serving up an exotic meats menu for Will’s party, I teamed up with them to recreate and share the recipe. You’ll never look at a beef burger the same way again. Promise.

Ingredients

2 lb ground buffalo/ bison 

2 medium yellow onions

1 bulb + 4 cloves of garlic

Aged white cheddar cheese

Pretzel buns (or your favourite burger bun)

10 mushrooms

 2 cups arugula 

5 large russet potatoes

4 cups organic beef broth

1 tsp organic corn starch

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the russet potatoes and slice into large fries. Toss in a bowl with some olive oil and salt and pepper until evenly coated. Shake onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown/ slightly charred (approx 45 minutes to one hour). Turn the fries after 1/2 an hour in the oven.

2. Slice the top off the bulb of garlic and remove any excess outer layers, making sure it maintains it’s shape. Place on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil. Roast the garlic for approx 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown and soft. If you have room in your oven, place it on another rack while the fries cook, otherwise roast the garlic separately ahead of time.

2. While the fries are cooking, finely dice one of the onions and crush the cloves of garlic. In a large bowl, combine onion and garlic with the ground buffalo. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix well.

3. Form the mixture into patties 1/2″ thick and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Either cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to cook or cook immediately.

4. When ready, bring your BBQ or grill to medium heat and space the patties evenly over the heat. Flip after 5- 7 minutes and grill until cooked through (approx 10- 15 minutes total at medium heat). Place some slices of the aged white cheddar on the burgers a few minutes before they’re ready if you prefer melted cheese.

5. While the burgers are cooking, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan over medium/ high heat. Slice the remaining onion and mushrooms and sauté them separately (don’t clean the pan!). Set aside until ready to build the burgers. In the same pan, heat the 4 cups of organic beef broth and add the cornstarch to thicken slightly (if desired) to make the au jus for dipping (so, SO good!). The beef broth will absorb some of the flavours left over from the onions and mushrooms and make for some tasty dipping.

5. To build the burgers, scoop some Dijon mustard and mayo onto the buns, along with some of the roasted garlic. Next add the sautéed mushrooms and onion, followed by the burger patty. Top off with slices of the aged white cheddar (if you haven’t already melted it on) and arugula. Secure the top of the bun with a bamboo skewer and serve with the fries (and au jus, if desired). Now just try going back to your regular beef burger. 😉

This is a delicious twist on a traditional beef burger and one you’ll hopefully love making throughout the year. If serving with the au jus, cutting the burgers in half once built makes dipping easier and (slightly) less messy. 

 

 

    

More about that exotic meats menu…

Last month I surprised Will with a 30+ 1 party (aka a belated 30th) and when it came time to plan the menu I knew I wanted to do something different, a little crazy even. I thought it over and ultimately decided to go with a menu that was waaay different than anything I had ever done before, something totally out of my comfort zone and experience: a menu made up of a variety of exotic meats. I know of restaurants that serve up protein that’s less common than our typical beef and chicken and I had a hunch one of my favourite stores might be able to help me plan the menu. I’ve shopped at Heritage Meats since they opened in 2003- way before kids, going gluten- free, etc- because I love their passion for food and the quality selection they offer. I called to find out what they carried and I wasn’t disappointed, ultimately deciding on a selection of five to try: crocodile, buffalo, kangaroo, boar, and camel- cooked up in different recipes and served alongside some BBQ chicken just in case our families weren’t in an adventurous mood. I didn’t play it safe, I Googled and Googled and Googled how to cook the different meats (and no one got food poisoning, yay!) and Will loved the crazy menu. This was some of the most fun I’ve had with food in a while and I couldn’t have pulled it off so calmly if it weren’t for the advice and help from a few of the staff members at Heritage Meats. 

Please note this post is not sponsored or endorsed. I have shopped at this store since it opened in 2003 and they were the first place I thought of when I decided on an exotic menu for Will’s birthday. When I originally called to ask for help narrowing down the menu, the service and help I received both over the phone prior to visiting and in- store was exceptional (and I did not mention I was a blogger to try to get ‘special attention’). This has always been my experience with the staff of this store and it led me to reach out to them to partner on this recipe. They kindly provided the buffalo and aged cheddar cheese to help me recreate the recipe I served at Will’s birthday and I whole- heartedly recommend you check them out online to learn more and pay them a visit. Whether you’re passionate about food and care about it’s quality, or seek specialty products, this store is a destination worth the drive and the staff will be the finishing touch of a great shopping experience. It’s been a pleasure shopping with them over the past 13+ years and even more so partnering with them here on OHP. Shops like this keep my love for food alive and I’m so grateful to them for their dedication to what they do.

About Heritage Meats

Located in Langley, BC, Heritage Meats specializes in gourmet, high- quality, and specialty foods including gluten- free, organic, and premium quality meats. Since opening in 2003, it’s become a destination, offering a selection of everything from deli items, pantry staples, and meat to gourmet and specialty items (including exotic meats!) hard to find in most stores. All of the meat and poultry carried in the store is non- medicated- no hormones, antibiotics, or animal by- products- and the friendly staff can help you with any questions you may have.

In addition to the exotic meats mentioned in this post, they also carry a selection of other quality meat and deli items:

– Beef (non medicated Alberta beef, dry aged for flavour and tenderness)
– Chicken (local, non medicated, air chilled)
– Pork (local, non medicated, free run)
– Sausages (made in house, no fillers, gluten free)
– Entrees (made in house by the shop’s chef, with a large selection of gluten free options)

To learn more about the store and it’s product offerings, visit the Heritage Meats website and find them on social media:

Facebook: Heritage Meats & Gourmet Specialty Foods | Twitter: @HeritageMeats

 Save this recipe for later!

Yummy Mummy Monday: Salmon Burgers

To celebrate the sockeye salmon run we have here in BC in late Summer, I’m featuring some delicious & nutrient- packed salmon recipes to inspire you to try this delicious fish. My hubby’s family still fishes commercially and my father- in- law gave me his recipe for salmon burgers (they’re a huge hit in the family!). A delicious meal for a hot Summer evening.
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Salmon Burgers
Ingredients:
Makes 4- 6 burgers
2 lb Fresh or canned salmon 
1 bunch kale, pureed in food processor
2 tbsp fresh dill
2 tsbp dijon mustard
1 onion, finely diced
pinch salt
1 tsp pepper
1 egg for binding (optional)
Directions:
1. Preheat bbq or grill to a medium heat. If using fresh salmon, de- bone the meat. If using canned, drain the juices.
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients ( if using fresh salmon, you may need to use a food processor to shred the meat). Add extra seasoning to taste. 
3. Shape patties into desired size (these won’t shrink the way beef patties will)
4. Place patties on grill & cook for 5- 10 minutes (for fresh fish, make sure patties are cooked through)
Serve with your choice of fixings on a whole wheat bun ( or pick your fave gluten free option). 
I love coleslaw or tartar sauce, avocado & lettuce- I think keeping it simple with these burgers is best.

Image Source: Real Simple
August posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Yummy Mummy Monday: Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

We’re due for an epic sockeye salmon run in BC this Summer. To tempt your taste buds and help you prepare for this delicious local bounty, I thought I’d toss a recipe your way that does justice to this amazing fish. It’s so versatile and a perfect candidate for the grill! Packed with nutrients, it’s delicious served hot or cold.

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:
For the salmon:
1 side of salmon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp each ground coriander & cumin
2 tsp dill (for the best flavour, use several stems of fresh dill)
1/2 white onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tsp pepper

For the avocado salsa:
1 avocado, sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 limes, juiced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (use as much or as little as you like, to taste)
salt to taste
Optional: 1- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped

Directions:
1. Mix the ingredients for the salmon rub in a bowl; in a separate bowl whip up the avocado salsa. Refrigerate both for 30+ minutes to let flavours combine
2. Pre- heat the grill/ bbq to a medium heat
3. Rub the mix on the salmon & place on grill. Cook until light pink/ flaky
4. Serve the salmon topped with the avocado salsa

Delicious served over rice.


What is your favourite salmon recipe? Sockeye is the popular choice and perfect when you can get it fresh. Spring/ king/ chinook salmon is a less pricey option and also delish (and my favourite!).

Image Source: Laylita

August posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Yummy Mummy Monday: Easy BBQ Recipes

BBQ season is in full swing! If the weather’s hot it’s perfect to enjoy some sun and avoid overheating the house with the stove & oven.
Some of our family faves are ribs, burgers, fish (we’re coming up on an epic salmon run here in BC soon!) and veggie skewers (you need to have a little green to go with all that BBQ protein! 😉
So, to go with all this vitamin D, here’s some quick & easy ideas to toss on the barbee!

BBQ Menu: 
Homemade burgers with veggie skewers & yam fries

 Mouth- Watering Homemade Burger Patties 
You can’t beet a fresh, homemade patty!
Makes 4 patties

Ingredients:
1 lb ground meet (for a fresh alternative try ground buffalo-amazing! Ground turkey or a chicken breast are also great lighter options)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 white or yellow onion, diced fine
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs (for a gluten free version, use gf breadcrumbs or finely chopped kale)
Optional: 1 tsp each of ground paprika, chipotle chilli and/ or cayenne for added flavour & kick
Directions:
Mix everything in a bowl & shape into patties (if skipping the breadcrumbs, it may be a good idea to cook the patty on a piece of foil to avoid it crumbling over the bbq grates). If using a chicken breast in place of a patty, create a dry rub with the garlic, onion & spices. Grill on medium heat until cooked through; approx. 10 minutes.
Serve with your favourite buns & fixings (we love avocado for a yummy substitute for mayo)
If you’re on an uber health kick, swap the bun for lettuce leaves- a fave for those on a paleo or gluten free diet.
 Veggie Skewers 
Kick up the nutritional value & add flavour with some seasonal veggies
Makes 4- 6 skewers

Ingredients:
1 zuchinni, sliced into medallions approx. 1/4″ thick
Red & green bell peppers, chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks
Red onion, chopped into 1 1/12 chunks
Other ideas:
Mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, mango chunks
Directions:
Alternate the veggies on your skewers (make sure they’re bbq safe- we had a set melt once!) leaving some space between items to cook. Pop on the bbq for approx 10- 15 minutes, covered at medium heat.
 Yam Fries 
A sweet & smoky twist on your typical spud side!
Makes 4- 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 large yams, peeled & cut into wedges (see photo)
1- 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chipotle pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Directions:
Combine the oil & seasonings in a large bowl & toss in yam wedges. Mix until evenly coated. There are two ways you can tackle these: slow cook them on the grill for approx 30 minutes in a foil pouch with a tbsp or two of water until soft, then place on grill to char; or place directly on grill at low heat for approx. 30 minutes & then turn up heat to medium to char (it depends how much you want to babysit them- the foil pouch & water will be a little more forgiving if you’re distracted by your company offering you a fresh beer every few minutes!) 😉
Enjoy with your favourite dipping sauce (try combining garlic, onion, avocado & chipotle in a food processor for a mayo dip alternative)

Great, now I want to BBQ! Hope this inspires you to fire up the grill!
For more yummy & healthy recipe ideas, check out our Yummy Mummy Recipes page!
Image Sources (in order of appearance):
Let Them Eat Burgers!- Epicure Selections– courtesy of Renee Schuck (learn about this Amazing Mom here!)
Veggie Skewers- Katherine Petrunia
Yam Fries- Health.com
July posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique